Former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi says Saddam had been left between his home and that of ex-PM Nouri al-Maliki before later being taken away.
Former Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa al-Kadhimi has claimed that the body of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was “disposed of” near the ex-prime minister’s home in Baghdad after Hussein’s execution in 2006.
In an interview with Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday, al-Kadhimi specified that Saddam’s body had been left in an area between his home and that of Nouri al-Maliki, who was prime minister at the time, in the city’s fortified Green Zone.
The comments came after al-Kadhimi was asked how many times he had seen Saddam.
The ex-prime minister explained that he had seen Saddam for the first time at his court hearing before his death, describing the trial as a “very difficult and pivotal moment in the history of Iraq”.
However, the second time would not be until after Saddam’s execution.
“I disapproved of the act [of disposing his body next to his home], but I saw a group of guards, and I asked them to stay away from the body out of respect for the dead,” al-Kadhimi revealed in the interview.
“Yes, it [Saddam’s body] was brought [outside al-Maliki’s house],” said al-Kadhimi. “Al-Maliki ordered its handover to one of the sheikhs of al-Nada tribe, Saddam Hussein’s tribe, and so it was collected from the Green Zone.”
He added that “[Saddam] was buried in Tikrit. After 2012, when [the area] came under the control of ISIS (ISIL), the body was dug up and moved to a secret location no one knows to this day. The graves of his children were also tampered with.”
Prior to his premiership from May 2020 to October 2022, al-Kadhimi served as the director of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, and was a known opponent of Saddam’s rule.
In 2003, United States-led coalition forces toppled Saddam’s regime, claiming that the Iraqi president held weapons of mass destruction and maintained a relationship with al-Qaeda, a claim the US never proved.
After being found guilty of crimes against humanity, Saddam was hanged at dawn on December 30, 2006.
Al-Maliki was the prime minister of Iraq from May 2006 to September 2014, and was the official who signed the death warrant of Saddam Hussein.
The president of Iraq at the time, Jalal Talabani, opposed the death penalty on principle.